Purchasing Department

Unauthorized Purchases


Departmental Purchasers cannot obligate the University, beyond their delegated authority, by ordering goods or services prior to proper requisitioning and issuance of a purchase order.  Departmental Purchasers must ensure that the necessary requisition/purchase order is created before the goods or services are ordered from any vendor.  Once the Purchasing Department has issued a purchase order to the vendor the University may not pay any amount in excess of the agreed upon amount, unless the purchase order has been amended in writing.

Although it is acceptable for a department to place orders within its delegated authority, it is a violation of University policy for a department to place an order that exceeds its delegated authority, creating an unauthorized university obligation.  That is why it is important for delegated purchasers to know what authority they do have, to know or have a good estimate of shipping or other charges will be in advance and, to know exactly the cost of the actual goods or services. Without this knowledge, the delegated purchaser is in danger of exceeding their purchasing authority and violating University policy.

In the event a purchase or series of purchases (that appropriately should have been combined into a single purchase) are made exceeding the departmental delegated authority amount, the department shall submit a letter of justification along with the request for payment to the Purchasing Department.  The Purchasing Department will review and get approval from the Vice President for Administration and Finance.  The letter of justification and approval must be included with the voucher before payment will be made. 

The letter at a minimum needs to include the following information:
• Date the order was place
• Person who placed the order
• Reason why a requisition was not completed